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Mobile Health Technology
A mobile healthcare technology blog, sponsored by AccelaMOBILE and run by White Plume Technologies.
Does Healthcare IT need a ‘Disruptor’? – Day 3
The move to EHR
Recent incentives, financial and otherwise, have pushed many healthcare providers to use an EHR system. While beneficial in theory—coordination of care, drug alerts, and other aspects really are beneficial when used correctly—EHRs interrupt and change longstanding workflows and add a technical element to a once paper driven process: all of this combined can make for a very large disruption. With an EHR, healthcare providers must learn new technology, spend more time documenting encounters, and generally change the way they interact with their patients.
Increased regulations have led the industry to wonder what really is going to happen in healthcare and when. Is government regulation positively impacting healthcare or is this top down change confining potential beneficial innovations? Increased regulations and mandates could in fact be pushing start ups and innovators away from healthcare and towards more predictable and reliable industries. Some of the regulations imposed by the government include:
- Meaningful Use (MU): In spite of pre-election maneuvers to create doubt and confusion about this program, providers now report 57% are using an EHR and more than $3.9 billion in incentives has been paid by CMS for MU.
- Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs): Nevermind the Supreme Court drama and GOP vows to overturn ObamaCare...the ACO train has left the station. Commercial payors and healthcare providers are forming ACOs all over our nation, and hundreds of healthcare entities are sharing data and resources to improve care with lower costs.
- ICD-10: This initiative has succeeded in creating a cottage industry and thrown HIT vendor roadmaps into a tailspin yet it is unclear whether we will actually hit the October 2014 target, based on past experiences.
- Payment Reform: Two scary words that represent different things to different providers, such as bundled payments, readmission penalties, SGRs, Value-based purchasing, Value-based Performance, and Shared Savings.
- PQRS: While not a new program, 2013 marks the advent of Penalty for Not Reporting and providers must report their quality measures or face adjustments to their Medicare fee schedule (see Payment Reform).
The next 8 quarters – spanning 2013 and 2014 – require a lot planning and drastic change from healthcare practices. PQRS, MU, ICD-10, HIX, along with increased software and hardware demands make for a potentially stressful environment if advanced planning is not in place. This timeline shows some of the demands and time constraints practices will face in the next 24 months.